Why I'm returning my Sonos

Why I\’m returning my Sonos

I am going to return my Play:3. This saddens me a great deal and I would like to explain why I’m doing so.

First a little bit about my setup. My wife and I both have an (Android) smartphone with music. We also both have a Macbook with iTunes. Hers with a small library, mine 80GB. We have a Sonos Play:3 and a bridge.

First of all the good parts; - I love the setup. Easy, simple, clean. Great, great work. - I also love the sound the Play:3 produces. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it in the shop. So small, such great sound. - The ability to control the music with any device. Whether it was streaming from my laptop or hers. This is how it should be.

But there are, sadly, still enough reasons to return it.

  1. The controller is build for a touchscreen. Which leads to a subpar experience on the desktop client. For example, pressing spacebar won’t pause/start the music. Clicking on the volume bar (upper left) won’t set the volume to where I clicked. It just takes a tiny step. Stuff easily fixed, I’m sure, but disappointing none the less.

  2. This is really unacceptable; the podcasts I view in iTunes are mixed in my Music Library. I can’t believe it. Import podcast for all I care but don’t mix them in my Music Library.

  3. When I add music to my iTunes library (which I do regularly) I have to wait till the Sonos controller decides to sync. What I’ve done so far is to go to Preferences -> Music Library -> Advanced and set the automatic update to 1 minute in the future. Not even a button ‘sync now’. Or better yet, just keep an eye on the file system (inotify anyone?).

  4. With two libraries on two laptops it happens often that one of them is offline. Why does the controller let me select a track which is offline? It really isn’t that hard to know if a share is up.

  5. As mentioned earlier my wife and I added both our Libraries to Sonos. Our libraries overlap. What happens now when her laptop is offline is that I can’t play songs which I know I have on my disk. Sonos thinks the tracks are located solely on her laptop, which is not true. I can go to Music Library -> Folders and select it there.

  6. Playback from an Android device is nigh impossible. doubleTwist sorta does it, Twonky is barely capable. Playto is bad, as is iMediashare. Besides, all these apps are large (~20MB) which makes them appropriate only for mid-high to high end smartphones.

  7. Would it have killed anyone to install a line-in on the Play:3? I feel this is only done to up sell to the Play:5. (That almost worked BTW.)

  8. When a friend of mine came around last week he wanted to let me listen to a great new band he discovered. Without a line in I mounted his phone on my computer. I then proceeded to import his songs in my iTunes library, I then went on to the Sonos preferences and did the \‘1 minute in the future’ trick. Waited far more that 1 minute. In that time I had ample time to explain to him why I bought a device of €300 which could to this simple task.

This, in a nutshell, is why I’m (seriously considering) returning my unit.

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